Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chocolaty Chip Cookies

I first saw this recipe while browsing around on The Kitchn.  The original post was a cookbook review and recipe from Michel Richard's cookbook, Sweet Magic.  I saved the link on my desktop knowing I'd get around to baking these chocolaty cookies one day. Well, not sure if you saw my new logo on my Facebook page, but if you didn't you should have a look.  Feed Your Sister is going places in the next few weeks!  That's right, a new home, some behind the scenes people and I have been working on putting it all together!  But anyway, I wanted to send my family friend, Joey, who worked on the logo for me some delicious treats!  I chose to make these cookies! I also had some extra to give to another friend, and she described the cookie as the perfect combination between crispy around the edges but soft and chewy in the middle!  The recipe is pretty simple, all done in the food processor and a little elbow grease!  The slice and bake type deal is great, that way your hands don't get too dirty either!  It's a win-win!

A few changes from the original recipe...I did not toast the hazelnuts and then bother to steam them to get the skins off, what I did do was toast them in a dry pan for a few minutes, until they were fragrant and then threw them in the processor!  Next, I had semi-sweet mini chocolate chips in the freezer and thought it would be fine to replace them for chopping up 8 ounces of chocolate.  Same difference, right?  Well, here's the recipe!  Next time I go to the bookstore I am definitely going to check out Michel Richard's cookbooks and see what else he's got for me!
Extremely Chocolaty Chip Cookies
(adapted from Michel Richard's Book Sweet Magic)
Makes 24 cookies (I was able to get about 30 cookies)

1 cup hazelnuts
14.4-ounce box graham crackers, crushed (about 4 cups)
8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (I used mini chocolate chips, they worked great and made less work for myself!)
1/2 cup dark alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder (I used Hershey's, totally fine!)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar, dark
2 large eggs
Note: The cookie dough is rolled into a cylinder shape that can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for several months. Defrost it in the refrigerator before baking.
Place the hazelnuts and graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and pulse to produce a fine powder. Roughly chop 4 ounces of the chocolate and add it to the food processor bowl, along with the cocoa powder. Process all together for 15 to 20 seconds, or until uniformly combined. Using a spatula, mix the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and the contents of the mixer bowl and incorporate well.
Divide the dough into halves. Lightly wet your work surface, cut a length of plastic wrap about 24 inches long, and lay it on the damp counter. Place one of the dough balls in the center of the plastic. Take one edge of the plastic wrap and fold it over the dough. Tuck it under and roll the dough, forming a large sausage shape approximately 3 inches in diameter and 6 inches long in the process. Roll up the entire length of the plastic wrap around the dough two or three times. Next, twist both ends of the plastic very, very tightly. If you loosely pack this dough, it will crumble too easily. Fasten the ends tightly with twine or twist ties. Repeat the above steps with the other piece of dough. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until firm.
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate into large "chips." Line two sheet pans with Silpat or parchment. Slice the dough into ½-inch-thick disks. Place 6 cookies on each sheet pan and press 6 to 8 chocolate pieces into the top of each or sprinkle a few mini chips and press lightly into the dough. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes. They will be very delicate—let them sit on the pan for 5 minutes until they are firm and cool enough to remove with a spatula. Carefully transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trim Down Tuesdays: Q&A + Berries and Plum Granola Cobbler

Welcome to Trim Down Tuesdays with Karen Moreno, RD, CDN!  Each Tuesday Karen will post answers to questions that you, the readers, ask about diet and/or nutrition AND of course, she'll post one of her own recipes.
If you have questions that you'd like Karen to answer on Feed Your Sister please do one of the following:
*post a comment below
*email me at
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*post a tweet or send us a message on our Twitter page, click here

Here's are the questions and answers for this week!

1. What is the most important meal of the day? Why? 

I know you’ve all heard this before, but BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day. Even its name tells you that you are "Breaking the Fast." 

When you wake up in the morning after not eating for 7-8 hours, your body needs energy to fuel itself and start the day off right. After not eating all night, the first thing you want to do is rev up your metabolism. The wrong thing to do is actually skip breakfast because by doing this you are actually telling your body that you are starving it, therefore slowing down your metabolism. In this case your body feels like it needs to conserve energy so the next time you put something in your mouth, your body will STORE it instead of burning it off, exactly the opposite of what you want if you are trying to lose weight. Actually, when researchers looked at the eating patterns of people who maintained a weight loss in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) they discovered that eating breakfast is a characteristic common to successful weight loss maintainers and may even be a factor in their success.

So what should you eat? 
Aim for about 300 calories for breakfast.

·      try some nonfat Greek yogurt with berries
·      an egg white omelet with veggies and whole wheat bread
·      oatmeal with some fruits, slivered almonds, and cinnamon
·      a bowl of cereal (Puffins Original and Kashi Go Lean are my favorites)

2. How much protein should a person have on a given day??  What are the advantages of protein for your body and diet?

The amount of protein a person needs varies depending on their weight. A good way to calculate your average protein needs is to take your weight, in kg (divide your wt in lbs by 2.2 to find out your wt in kg) and multiply by a range of .8-1.0. This is the estimated amount of protein you should eat daily.

Ex. 150 lb women (wt in kg=150/2.2=68.2kg x .8=54.6 g 68.2 x 1=68.2 g)
Her estimated daily protein intake should be between 54.6-68.2 g per day.

Protein is great because it can help fill you up. I always like to combine foods high in fiber and protein when choosing a snack. For example, an apple with peanut butter, string cheese with a piece of fruit, or turkey on a high fiber cracker, such as Finn Crisps. 

Just don’t forget that not all protein is created equally. While a rib eye steak and chicken breast both have high amounts of protein, don’t forget that with protein usually comes fat. The rib eye steak is higher in artery clogging saturated fats while the chicken breast is much lower in total fat and has very minimal amounts of saturated fats. Opt for lean proteins such as white meat chicken or turkey without the skin, lean meats that are less marbleized, fish, and vegetarian protein options such as tofu, quinoa, and beans.

Here's Karen's recipe for this week, each serving has under 200 calories! Terrific!
This is one of my favorite year round desserts, which makes it perfect for both fall and spring. In the summertime, I make it with whatever fresh fruits I can get my hands on: usually berries, plums, and peaches. In the winter I make it with pears, apples, and a ton of cinnamon. Besides for the health benefits from the fiber filling fruit, this recipe calls for canola oil instead of butter, which has only 1 g of saturated fat vs. 7g in butter (per tbsp), and the oats help contribute to your intake of whole grains and have also been shown to lower cholesterol. Now that we’re officially in spring, feel free to stick with a summertime version, move on to fall, or mix the two with a berry and apple version. Whatever kind you make, serve with vanilla ice cream, and this is one treat no one will turn down!  

Berries and Plum Granola Cobbler
Serves: 10
Total time: About 1 hour
5 cups mixed berries, frozen or fresh
3 medium plums (or peaches, apples, or your favorite fruit), sliced, with the skin
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup chopped walnuts and/or almonds [¼ CUP EACH]
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray the bottom of a 9” circular Pyrex with non-stick cooking spray. Pour all the fruit on the bottom of the Pyrex.  In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the topping, except the cinnamon, until well incorporated. Mix with hands to get a more crumbly topping.  Pour topping evenly over the fruit and sprinkle the cinnamon on top.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit bubbles.  Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream. Some of my friends even love to have leftovers the next day in their Greek yogurt!

Nutrition content:
Per serving (2” slice, without ice cream): 175 calories, 21 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein, 10 g fat
—Karen Moreno, RD, CDN

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bakes Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

I love Tastespotting.  It's a great site for when you are looking for new cooking ideas.  Let's say you have a spaghetti squash but don't know what to make with it, you can search through tons of photos/recipes to find just what you are looking for. It's also a great way to find new food blogs and sites to start reading. I spotted this recipe and this recipe and that's how I came to make my version of the recipe. Each serving has a points plus value of 4!  And you leave the table feeling nicely full!

Baked Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
(makes 2 large portions)
1 spaghetti squash, baked or microwaved
3 tablespoons pesto (Vegans use this recipe and omit the parmesan or use vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, separated in half
(I didn't add tomatoes, but feel free to add them in if you'd like, no added points there!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash with a sharp knife or split in half and discard the seeds/pulp, then place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 60-70 minutes. Take out squash but keep oven on.  Use a fork to separate spaghetti strands and place them in a large bowl.  Combine spaghetti with pesto, salt and 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and mix well.  Divide squash mixture  into two large ramekins or small lasagna dishes and sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until golden brown crust forms.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Post: Nutritionist Karen Moreno, RD, CDN

Feed Your Sister is excited to have Karen Moreno, a friend and nutritionist, guest blog and share some of her favorite healthy recipes.  Karen is a Registered Dietitian, having received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from New York University in Nutrition and Food Studies and a minor in Business. She then completed her dietetic internship in affiliation with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she gained extensive experience in both clinical and community nutrition. In addition, she also completed rotations at NYU’s Pediatric Dental Clinic and at Ogilvy, a PR firm in NYC. In the past, Karen worked for Tanya Zuckerbrot, as well as the Clinton Foundation working to help fight childhood obesity, and as a trainer for Equinox.

Currently, Karen is continuing her post-graduate studies towards her Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at NYU. Karen is the resident dietitian at New York Medical Associates and provides medical nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling services to patients with a wide variety of health conditions and issues.  In addition, Karen sees patients privately at her office or at her patient’s offices for their convenience. Karen also writes healthy recipes for

Karen remains informed on the newest research and health practices because she is a member of the American Dietetic Association. She loves cooking, baking, and coming up with healthy recipes. In addition, she enjoys yoga, boot camp classes, and is now training to run her first NYC marathon.  

Below is a recipe for people who are crazy about salmon! Before we get to the recipe, here's some nutrition facts and information from Karen... With all the buzz about omega 3 fatty acids and its associated health benefits for both healthy people and those at risk of cardiovascular disease I decided to experiment with a new recipe this week to replace my boring old plain grilled salmon. Omega 3’s have become very popular lately because studies have shown that consuming omega 3 fatty acids twice a week  can decrease triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure. Salmon is a great source of omega 3’s along with flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, and other fatty fish. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory which means that they prevent inflammation and also help with brain development which is why pregnant women and children should consume them in moderation as well. 

Try out my recipe below and you can pair it with a quinoa salad or some grilled broccoli.  Enjoy!

Sweet Mango Salmon
(Serves 4)
4 (4-oz) salmon fish fillets
5 pieces dried unsweetened mango (Whole Foods and Trader Joe's has this!
3 tbsp honey mustard (or any kind you have)
1 tbsp orange juice
¼ cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray a Pyrex or aluminum tin with vegetable oil.  Place salmon and mango in oven-safe dish.  In a bowl, combine mustard, orange juice, soy sauce, lemon juice, and oil. Whisk together until fully combined.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture and stir until incorporated.
Pour over the salmon and mango.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned.
Tip: You can also add broccoli and bake it alongside the salmon for an extra boost of antioxidants and Vitamin C.

If you'd like to contact Karen, regarding this email or anything else you might want to know about nutrition and/or dieting, please email her at  Be sure to reference Feed Your Sister in your email!  Look out for more recipes by Karen in future posts soon!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cannoli-Stuffed French Toast

This past Saturday I was watching Lisa Lillien's Hungry Girl show on the Cooking Channel.  The theme for the show that day was "Rise and Dine."  I really enjoy her show and look forward to watching the new episodes every Saturday!  After I watached the show I was a convert.  I now am in love with unsweetened almond milk, which has less calories than skim milk, although not much protein.  Oh well, it's amazing and great with cereal, oatmeal, and in smoothies!  And since Saturday I've been searching for light hot dog buns in every supermarket in NYC that I pass...she uses the buns to make this recipe.  I never found light  hot dog buns, but I did find Fiber One hot dog buns and settled on them for 1 extra points+ point, on top of the 6 the recipe already contains.  That's the other great thing about Hungry Girl, she posts the weight watchers points+ values on every single recipe she makes.  I can't wait to go to her book signing in NYC on March 30th in Union Square!!  Here's the recipe for Cannoli-Stuffed French Toast!  Have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Enjoy!
Cannoli-Stuffed French Toast
(serves 1)
3 tbsp. fat-free ricotta cheese 

2 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 tsp. vanilla extract, divided 
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia) 
1 light hot dog bun with about 80 calories (like the kind by Sara Lee) 
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original) 
1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
2 tsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown) 
1/2 tsp. powdered sugar 
Optional topping: sugar-free pancake syrup 

In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, and sweetener, and mix 
Split hot dog bun open lengthwise, without fully separating the two halves. Spoon ricotta mixture onto the 
bottom half of the bun. Gently press the top half down over the filling. Carefully slice into four "nuggets" using a serrated knife 
and set aside. 

See the chocolate chips?...Mmmm! I made one for breakfast and one for another day's lunch!
Mix egg substitute, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract in a small bowl. Set aside. 
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add butter and allow to coat th
e bottom of the skillet.  

Meanwhile, coat each nugget on all sides with the egg mixture. (You won't need to use all of the egg 
Once butter has melted, place nuggets in the skillet and, flipping occasionally, cook until golden brown on 
all sides, 3 - 4 minutes.  
Plate your nuggets and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Top with syrup, if you like. Enjoy! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mixed Veggie Tomato Soup

I created this recipe because on now onto my second week of Weight Watchers.  I think it's really great because keeping track of my points is forcing me to track my veggie intake, and think of ways to incorporate as many as I can throughout the day.  Mainly because almost all veggies are 0 points and they help curb cravings.  For example, I carry around a bag of cut veggies with me daily, that way when I am hungry or feel like munching I go for the bag of veggies instead of going into the nearest Duane Reade and  buying candy.  That's what I used to do, no more of that!  So anyway, I wanted to create a soup using as many vegetables as possible and have it be really filling.  I think I accomplished what I wanted, here's the recipe for it.  Each serving is a cereal bowl filled with the soup, there's no measurement here, sorry!  P.S. this recipe makes about 10 humongous cereal bowl servings, each filled with lots of veggies! That's a points plus value of 4 for you Weight Watchers people! Feel free to add more veggies if you like! Enjoy!
Side angle view, see all the veggies, beans, and parmesan?? YUMMY!
Mixed Veggie Tomato Soup
(makes 10 humongous servings)
1 spanish onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 bunch Kale, leaves removed and chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped small
1 large zucchini, chopped small (or 2 small)
1 bag shredded cabbage or 1 head chopped
1 can (2 cups) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (2 cups) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large (12oz) can diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato paste w/100% tomatoes
3 chicken bouillon cubes
6 cups water

In a large soup pot saute the chopped onion in the olive oil for about 7 minutes then sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons salt.  Now add all the chopped veggies, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, and water.  Cover and let soup come to a boil, for about 30 minutes. Make sure the to let lid sit a bit off the pot for venting.  Add chickpeas and beans and let simmer on medium-low heat for another 15 minutes.  Enjoy!  Sprinkle 3 teaspoons of grated parmesan cheese, if you like for an added points plus value of 1!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Turkey and Zucchini Bolognese

This past sunday I started Weight Watchers, the points plus program.  It's been 2 full days and I've already planned out my whole week of food.  I know that's totally insane but for me it's totally normal.  I'm kinda of crazy like that and love to plan and be organized.  I have been brainstorming some recipes that are great and low in points. Here's one to try, with or without pasta! This can also be done all in one pan or pot, less dishes to clean!  Yay!

Turkey and Zucchini Bolognese
(serves 1)
1 cup store bought Marinara Sauce ( I like Rao's, 3 points)
1/4 pound lean ground turkey (3 points)
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced thinly (0 points)
Olive Oil flavored Pam Non-Stick Spray (0 points)

NOTE: If you use one serving of pasta, which is 2 oz uncooked, add 6 points, 5 points for whole wheat. Also you can omit the pasta and replace it with 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa for 4 points.  Another idea is to omit the pasta or quinoa and use another 1/4 pound ground turkey. For this add 4 more points.  If you are forgoing the pasta or quinoa, try adding 1/2 cup canned cannelini or black beans,  add 2 points.   The more vegetables the better, mushrooms would be a good addition!
Measure out 1 cup of store bought marinara sauce and put aside.  Next spray a nonstick pan with Pam and saute the zucchini until browned and cooked through, place in the measuring cup along with the marinara.  (If you'd like to add more veggies, saute them in the pan with the zucchini.)  In the same pan place the ground turkey meat and use a wooden spoon to break it up while cooking. Cook for about 10 minutes. Pour marinara and veggies into the pan or use another pot (if adding beans, do so now), let sauce simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors combine.  Pour over pasta, quinoa, rice, or eat alone! ENJOY!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doctored Up French Fries

I had a bag of store bought french fries in the freezer and thought that instead of just baking them plain I'd doctor them up a little.  Not only will it give them more flavor, it will also make them fancy enough to serve dinner guests.  Perhaps the kids will even be adventurous and try something new.  Last night I made garlic and parsley flavored fries.  I'm thinking if you are a cheese lover, after they are baked you could even sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top. Here's the recipe I came up with!
Doctored Up French Fries
Serves 4-5 people

1 bag store bought french fries (whatever variety you prefer)
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
non-stick spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place parsley, garlic, salt, and olive oil in a mini food processor and process until finely chopped.  If you don't have a food processor, combine ingredients in a small bowl, but be sure to mince garlic and chop the parsley very finely.  Pour parsley mixture over the french fries in a large bowl and use your clean clean hands to distribute it evenly over the fries.  Place fries in a single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  If you want to add parmesan cheese, do so now.  Serve with ketchup or a spicy mayo and enjoy!!
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